What's next for Wladimir Klitschko?
NEW YORK -- Disappointed. That was the word
"He's bothered by this," Finkel told SI.com. "This was a fight he really wanted."
That's an understatement. Ordinarily mild mannered, Klitschko had worked himself into a bit of a lather when it came to Haye. The outspoken Haye, a former cruiserweight champion who was looking for his first heavyweight title, had been a thorn -- or perhaps an ice pick -- in Klitschko's side for more than a year. In various interviews Haye leveled both personal and professional attacks in the direction of Klitschko and his brother, WBC champ
"Everywhere I go, David Haye is there," Klitschko said recently. "I want him bad."
Unfortunately, that's not going to happen this month and it may not happen for a while. In multiple interviews with SI.com, Klitschko has repeatedly expressed a desire to stay busy. At 33, he is in the prime of his career and although the heavyweight division is littered with marginally talented contenders (
"We're looking at a few people right now," said Finkel.
One of the possibilities Team Klitschko has considered is WBA champion
While Valuev-Klitschko would be an interesting fight -- Valuev holds the only major piece of the heavyweight title not owned by a Klitschko -- according to Finkel, the odds of making it on such short notice are long.
"Wladimir wants that fight," said Finkel. "But [Valuev's camp] doesn't want it. They talk a lot but they don't want to make that fight."
If Valuev is out, that doesn't leave Klitschko with many options. A handful of fringe contenders like
Haye's injury may eventually cost him any shot at Wladimir Klitschko. As the IBF and WBO champion, Klitschko is required to defend his title against the recognized No. 1 contenders. Neither the IBF (which recognizes Povetkin as its top contender) or the WBO (which ranks
"We're hoping that is not an issue," said Finkel. "We're hoping to face Haye in the fall and make the mandatory defense later this year."
If that happens, Klitschko would still get his long awaited shot at Haye. And perhaps that would somehow salvage what is shaping up to be another forgettable year.